Released: 2007, Century Media
Reviewer: Simon Lukic
Formed by former Marduk members Legion and Emil Dragutinovic in 2006, Devian is a new band and NINEWINGED SERPENT is their first effort. Hardly a “supergroup” as their bio clearly states, Devian comes across as an interesting combination of black, thrash, death, doom and traditional metal.
The album clearly shows promise on the thrashier numbers such as ’Instigator’, ‘Burning Daylight’ and the title track, where the band have melded a sinister black metal attitude with the energy of thrash and it sounds very cool. The more traditional riffs and arrangements of ‘Scarred’ and ‘Jackal’ are another positive and it works exceptionally well as this direction sounds extremely natural as well as powerful – unfortunately that strength does not resonate through to the remaining tracks as they sound rather conventional in comparison. ‘Suffer The Fools and ‘Remnant Song’ will be of interest simply for their doom influences but I didn’t find the tracks entirely convincing, while tracks such as ‘Dressed In Blood’ and ‘Heresy’ are rather standard modern black metal tracks that lessen the overall impact of the better numbers. Many will view NINEWINGED SERPENT’s varied nature as its strength but the lack of direction works against the release because it reduces its continuity and flow, which gets in the way of the listening experience.
If anything, the old school vibe of NINEWINGED SERPENT is one of the albums selling points and I hope that Devian head into this direction with the follow up. I also hope that the band hone in on their sound and latch onto to a clear direction because at the moment the band sounds as if they are testing the waters here a little.
When all is said and done, NINEWINGED SERPENT is a respectable album but is that enough to separate Devian from the pack - or horde if you will? In such a saturated market, I don’t think that will be the case. The band is talented and certainly capable enough, so we may get something truly unique in the future, I at the very least hope so. Either way it will be interesting to see where they go from here.